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DraftKings Signs LeBron James to Sports Betting Deal: Will Other Superstar Athletes Follow Suit?

Mike Noblin
Written by Mike Noblin
February 1, 2024
DraftKings Signs LeBron James to Sports Betting Deal

DraftKings has added one of the greatest NBA players of all time to its roster of celebrity endorsers. The sports betting and daily fantasy sports conglomerate reached an agreement with LeBron James to assist with content during football season.

This is big news for both DraftKings and the gambling industry, as it proves that professional sports leagues are more comfortable than ever partnering with sportsbooks. Let's take a look at what exactly LeBron will be doing for DraftKings by examining the total scope of the partnership below.

James to Provide Football Content and NFL Betting Picks

LeBron's devoted social media followers know that he loves football. James, a 20-year NBA veteran, is often seen in attendance at some of the most marquee college football and NFL games. The four-time NBA champion is a diehard Cleveland Browns and Ohio State Buckeyes fan.

James has over 235 million followers on social media, so to say this is a good deal for DraftKings would be a massive understatement. The NBA forbids its players to discuss anything gambling-related about basketball, so the scope of James's involvement with DraftKings will be football-only.

The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player award winner often showed a knack for picking football winners during the NFL season. He gave out NFL picks on Instagram Live on several occasions and even went an impressive 11-2 in Week 4.

Keep in mind though, that those results were with him picking the straight up winner and not against the point spread. Even still, that's a heck of a week! James followed up Week 4 by going 7-5 in Week 5.

How Does Signing LeBron Help DraftKings?

James is not only one of the greatest athletes of this generation, but he's also one of the most famous celebrities in the world. By inking LeBron to this multi-year deal, DraftKings should gain a ton of market share in both the sports betting and DFS realms.

DraftKings spares no expense when it comes to marketing their products. Sports fans are very familiar with their commercials featuring comedian Kevin Hart and former NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Those two are recognizable by most folks, but they pale in comparison to James's stardom and social media pull.

The timing of the agreement with James makes perfect sense. DraftKings has been in a continuous battle with archrival FanDuel for new sports betting customers since PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018.

DraftKings also has to now contend with ESPN BET, which recently launched on November 14, 2023. This contract with James lets all of DraftKings competitors know that they aren't backing down when it comes to new customer acquisition.

Does this deal mean that other mega-sportsbooks will partner with superstar athletes? That's a pretty safe bet!

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